Why ASIC chair warns ‘great caution’ needed when investing in crypto

Despite a trillion-dollar market valuation, Bitcoin remains highly volatile.

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The world’s top crypto by market valuation, Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC), is falling hard. The digital token is down more than 4% over the past 24 hours to US$56,585 (AU$78,590).

That puts Bitcoin down more than 11% since this time last week, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH), the world’s number 2 crypto, isn’t faring much better. Ether is down 5% in 24 hours and 10% over the past week, currently trading for US$4,106.

Yet despite the current slide, both cryptos are still trading well above where they kicked off 2021. Bitcoin is up 95% year-to-date and Ethereum is up 458%.

But with continuing price volatility and a future outlook still hotly contested between crypto bulls and bears, “great caution” is in order for investors.

What did ASIC’s chair caution about crypto?

As reported by the Australian Financial Review, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) chair Joe Longo said:

In my view consumers should approach investing in crypto with great caution. The maxim ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ comes to mind.

Those here who are directly involved in the broader managed investments sector will understand the serious implications of investing without understanding. It is not an approach to be undertaken lightly.

Longo alluded to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), which earlier this month became the first Aussie bank to launch a crypto service. That service enables its customers to buy, sell, and hold a range of digital tokens via the CommBank app.

According to Longo:

The fact Australia’s largest bank is already proposing a means of crypto-exposure for its retail customers is telling. Yes, it’s only a pilot project, but the overall direction is clear. This debate is no longer on the fringes of the financial services industry.

As we like to remind our readers at the Motley Fool, whether you’re looking at Bitcoin, altcoins or speculative shares, never invest more than you can afford to lose.

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The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Bitcoin and Ethereum. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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